This is my first 'short story' to finish so it's a little rough. It's pretty long too, so if you don't want to read the entire thing, at least read the first 6 pages and the last 2. Those give you the main idea. Hope you enjoy!
Waiting in a New World
The piercing tone of the bell woke Emily Foster up from her daydream. She heard chairs screech as the people whose minds had also been miles away, stood up. Emily yawned and stretched like a cat that has been unjustly woken from its sleep, and stood up too when suddenly it hit her. It's summer! It's finally summer time! This realization pumped energy into her veins making her leap to her feet and dash to the already stuffed doorway.
She finally broke through into the hall that resembled a large school of fish, all walking as fast as they could to the doors that were at the end of the hall. Emily joined the crowd and flowed out of the doors into the warm summer air. She walked a few paces towards the road that she lived on when she was met by her best friend, Dee Dee Langton, who lived right next door to her.
"Glad to finally be out of seventh grade?" she asked happily over a small group of kids.
"Oh yeah," Emily replied joyfully tossing her small notebook she used as a planner into a trashcan nearby, then caught up with Dee Dee.
"Why hello there." came a voice from behind the two of them as an arm was slung over Emily's shoulders.
"Get off of me you creep!" Dee Dee said violently pushing the arm off of her shoulder as Emily did the same thing.
"Someone's a little touchy." said the same voice. Emily didn't need to turn around to know it's Mark Strider, the bully of their grade who's always accompanied by a group of jocks who each resemble giant hams.
"Why do you always have to bother us?" Emily growled vehemently. She hated and always had hated Mark with every ounce of her body and mind, but he didn't seem to understand that.
"I have to bother you because my homies here just said that you two were braver than me, so I simply had to prove them wrong." he grunted glaring at one of his followers who blushed and looked away embarrassed.
"Well how can I help?" Dee Dee asked in a mock friendly voice, "Do you want me to kick you in a spot that would be rather painful, because I will." she added smiling sweetly. Mark eyed her bony knee and shakes his head slightly, making her smile with vindictive pleasure.
"Look, we want to see you two go up to that old mansion on the hill and prove to us that you're braver than Mark." said the one who had evidently put Mark's bravery on the line. Emily glanced at Mark whose face was now glistening with perspiration, but not from the heat; he didn't want them to take the bet because that would prove they are braver than him.
"What do you want us to do up there?" Emily asked turning away from Mark's almost pleading gaze. He cared more about his friend's loyalty than anything else, because without it, he would be nothing.
"Just take a few pictures of the place, so we know you were there." another one of the guys suggested, "And don't get scared of the ghosts!" he sniggered. Emily glanced at Dee Dee's defiant expression, then at Mark's pleading eyes.
"Fine, we'll do it tonight" she concluded nodding at Dee Dee and ignoring Mark's burning stare.
"Cool, we'll meet here tomorrow to take a look at the pictures." the same guy replied looking at Dee Dee and Emily with what seems like respect.
"Turns out two girls are braver than you." one of the mounds of meat laughed thumping a hand on Mark's back. Mark flinched, and shook it off and retorted, but Dee Dee and Emily were already out of reach and didn't hear it.
Emily and Dee Dee walked home slowly discussing their mission and agreeing on a reasonable excuse for their parents. When they finally reached their houses they both knew the plan and were each excited.
"So see you tonight." Dee Dee said, then branched off and skipped up the marble stairs that lead to her mansion of a house.
"Ok," Emily smiled continuing a few feet, then branching off and climbing up the brick stairs that directed her to her own, smaller house.
When it was finally six o'clock Emily and Dee Dee both told their parents that they were going to go for a walk with each other, and that they could be a while, but they had their cell phones at hand if needed. Then they met up outside of their houses, and began their journey towards the hill which hosted the old house on its hump.
"Did you remember to bring the stuff?" Emily asked Dee Dee.
"Of course I did!" Dee Dee huffed handing her small purse over to Emily who scrounged around in it to make sure everything was there. They had agreed that Dee Dee would bring two snack bars and a camera while Emily brought a flashlight.
"Perfect," Emily said handing Dee Dee's purse back.
By the time they had reached the turn off that lead to the hill, both of them were lightly perspiring and breathing heavily due to the thick, muggy, summer air. A small plaque at the foot of the hill that was covered with weeds read 'The Lister's Residence.'
"Hm, the Lister's, I don't think I've ever heard of them." Dee Dee said parting the tall grass and looking at the sign.
"I think I have. You know at the library, there's a plaque outside of it that says something about the Lister's."
"Oh yeah," Dee Dee replied rubbing her eyes.
They continued up a path that must have been once a road for cars, but was now covered and surrounded by overgrown bushes. Emily sighed was she swatted at a few vines hanging in front of her. The trees were bent over, as if they were bearing the weight of water, but it hadn't rained in weeks.
"What is up with all of these trees and bushes?" Dee Dee complained ducking under a low hanging branch, but getting caught by a few twigs containing needles.
"Just try to avoid them, but keep moving; it's going to be dark soon." They trudged up the unkempt trail for another few minutes, finally coming upon the house tired and scratched.
The house looked even more menacing up close with a few of the windows broken, no doubt by some kids, and the wood rotted and covered in weeds and vines. The porch, once white, had chipped paint and the stairs were mostly broken and dangerous looking. The door stood broken at an angle, just barely hanging on to a rusty hinge.
"Ok, this place is sort of creepy." Emily nodded in agreement, but slowly creeping closer, fascinated.
"Can we leave?" Dee Dee squeaked despite her earlier bravery.
"No, because if we do, then we don't get to crush Mark's reputation"
"Ug, is that the only reason why we came up here?" Dee Dee asked angered.
"Why else?" Emily replied looking at Dee Dee with confusion.
"Well, I'm not sure. I don't think I'm feeling too well." she confessed frowning.
"It's ok; we'll just be here a little while." Emily wagered, looking at her friend with slight concern. Dee Dee didn't look the same as she had earlier; the excited gleam was gone from her eyes. Emily carefully made her way to the broken stairs, and inspected them a moment before testing them.
"Ow!" she cried when, after taking the first step, she found her foot suddenly stuck in a hole. Emily yanked her foot up and examined it to find a few splinters sticking out of her skin where she couldn't pull them out. "Oh well," she sighed, then stood up and tried once more to go up the stairs. This time she was able to ascend all the way to the top, only to barely escape from an enormous hole that lay in the middle of the porch like a monster waiting for its prey to walk right into its mouth.
"Dee, come on" Emily urged.
"I don't want to; can I just stay down here?" Dee Dee moaned. Emily looked at her and saw that she didn't seem very well and nodded.
"Ok, but can you toss me your purse?" Emily asked edging her way around the hole in the porch. Dee Dee tossed her purse to Emily, and then plopped down on the ground heavily. 'Poor Dee Dee, I wonder why she is feeling so bad' Emily thought before squeezing her way through the triangle of a space where the door was broken.
The house inside was amazingly huge, but dark and musky too. Emily pulled out her flashlight from her pocket and turned it on. She shone the luminescent beam around the hall that she had entered to find everything covered with two inches of dust. Emily caught a shimmer out of the corner of her eye, but when she snapped her head around to inspect what it was, she found nothing. Frowning, she wove the beam from her flashlight around her once more and decided to avoid the staircase for the time being and continued further down the hall and through a doorway at the end of it.
Emily glanced around the room and found that it must have been a kitchen once. She retrieved the camera from Dee Dee's purse and took a picture of it, then ambled through another doorway to what must have been the dining room. It was now very empty, but for the enormous table that resided in the middle of the room. Upon it were two candles that were smoking. Emily examined them carefully and saw a small pool of wax at the bottom of the stick that was just beginning to harden. Emily's eyebrows knit together with confusion. She looked around her and could have sworn she felt a presence of some sorts around her.
"Emily!" came a cry from outside.
"What?" Emily replied.
"Can you please hurry up?" Dee Dee shouted.
"How about you go home? I want to look around some more!" Emily said still confused about the candle.
"Fine, see you later!" Emily rolled her eyes and looked around once more, she was positive she was being watched now. She was beginning to feel a little tense, but that wasn't going to stop her from looking all around.
She stepped into the other rooms on the first floor, but didn't find any other candles or anything that look out of place. After taking a few more pictures of rooms, Emily finally willed herself to attempt to climb the stairs. This staircase, luckily, was much more stable and had not entirely been introduced to Mother Nature, so the climb is relatively easy. All around the stairs were photographs of a family. There was a mother, father, and two children pictured in the photos. There was a young boy around seven or eight, then an older boy about Emily's age. These people had probably been the inhabitants of the old house. Emily ignored the disturbing feeling that was beginning to creep up her neck as she looked at the dust covered photos.
Once at the top of the stairs, Emily made sure to shine her light on the ground so that she wouldn't fall through a hole, or simply trip. It had grown much darker outside, so Emily was completely dependent on the soft beam from the flashlight. As she was tip-toeing into the first room on the second floor, she could have sworn she felt a slight breeze pass her right arm. Emily shivered slightly, but reached out to twist the doorknob when suddenly there was a face in front of her.
Emily stared into two bright blue eyes like a deer blinded by car lights, and didn't move. The face in front of her was of the boy in the pictures with light curly hair, but it was hard to tell exactly what color because he was…glistening. Not like that stupid vampire in those movies who looked like a fairy, but more like his body was made of water.
Emily looked him up and down and noticed he was wearing a suit and tie, grey due to the light rippling of white-like water that seemed to flow up and down his body.
"Hello." he said meeting her eyes with a questioning, and interested gaze.
"Hi," she managed to gasp, and then noticed his hand was extended towards her. As she watched in complete shock, his hand shimmered, then seemed to slowly glow pink, and then became solid. Emily watched as the wave appeared to flow up his arm and down his body leaving behind a solid and human form.
"How are you?" the spectral asked kindly, still offering his human hand, attached to his human body which had just a moment ago been…well ghost-like.
Emily took the hand experimentally and shook it. It turned out to be completely solid and human.
"Not bad." she whispered, not recognizing the words that came out of her mouth. She was still shocked, and because of that, unable to scream, yell, or move.
"Well that's good." the figure said smiling and letting his hand fall to rest beside him. 'This couldn't be real.' Emily thought to herself watching the ghost of a boy before her carefully. 'Maybe this is some trick of Mark's' she thought studying the boy some more, but not coming up with any sort of thing that would indicate him being a kid from school or some allusion. Emily looked at him more carefully and noticed that he too was studying her.
"What are you doing here?" she asked suddenly, crossing her arms uncomfortably.
"That's, sort of a long story." he admitted grinning slightly, but his eyes appeared to be full of pain.
"I don't have anything to do." Emily prompted.
"Well then, come in; make yourself comfortable." he said opening the door behind him and showing her in. She followed him carefully surprised to find that her legs could move.
She almost expected Mark to jump out and say 'Boo,' but no one did. Emily looked around her as they entered a room, almost like a typical teenage boys', but it didn't contain any posters, magazines, CDs, or DVDs, but plenty of books. She slowly walked around his room and fingered the delicate spines that were carefully arranged on shelves all around his bedroom, and in the center of it all was his bed. It has an imprint of his slim figure where he obviously slept and read.
"Do you like books?" he asked stepping forward in the cluttered room.
"I love them." Emily smiled turning towards him.
"I do too." he confessed tenderly picking up the closest book which is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. "They allow you to go anywhere, and yet not even move."
"They let you be someone else," Emily nodded completely forgetting everything, the fear she had felt, and the suspicion that would no doubt return, but not while they were sharing this moment. The boy looked up at her and smiled.
"That's my favorite part about them, that, and they make you forget all of your troubles and sorrows." he said replacing the book to where it had been residing before. Emily delicately picked up a book and looked at the cover.
"Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; I love this book."
"That was a family copy we had. It's been in my family for ages." he said stepping over a few stacks of books, and taking it from her hand and looking at it with sad eyes.
"What are you doing here? Where's the rest of your family?" Emily asked again, shaking her head slightly, and bringing herself back to the present.
"It's a long story." he repeated plopping down on his rickety bed.
"I don't have anything better to do." Emily, without invitation, also sat on his bed a foot away from him.
"You wouldn't believe it." he challenged.
"If you don't try then I'll never know." she replied raising her eyebrows. She always accepted changes, even when given in strange situations such as this.
"Very well then." he said laying back and looking at the cobweb filled ceiling.
"But first you need to tell me your name."
"My name is Logan Lister." he said extending his hand above him into the air.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Emily Foster." Emily said shaking his hand and greeting him as though they had just been introduced by their parents at some sort of adult party, and not by a dare to enter a creepy, seemingly uninhabited house.
"Nice to meet you too Emily Foster. Well then, where to begin. I suppose it should begin with my 15th birthday in January. I was just an average kid with good grades and a happy family: mother, Anna Lister; father, Anthony Lister; little brother, Joshua Lister; and our pet dog, Roger. That year we celebrated simply with a family dinner and not much else, but it was fun. I got all of what I wanted and was pleased with that year. Then in July my little brother became horribly ill with some sort of terrible disease that was supposedly incurable." at this Logan paused frowning at the ceiling.
"What do you mean supposedly?" Emily asked cautiously
"After about two weeks, he somehow became better, but that was when I became sick. In those two weeks it seems that the disease had passed out of him and into me." Logan said disdainfully, "I was taken to bed and my parents did very little because they believed I would recover since my brother had. So I was given soup and looked after, but they didn't call a doctor or become at all worried. After about three weeks of coughing fits, sneezing, and various other things I don't feel need to be expressed, they finally became worried, but the doctor said it was too late to do anything."
"But you didn't die, you're right here."
"That's the part I said you wouldn't believe; I did die. I died on March 29, 1968." Logan said turning his head toward a stunned Emily. "It's completely and utterly true."
"Then how are you here?"
"That's the question that I have worked laboriously to figure out. I believe that it is either because I have 'unfinished business,' like everyone says, or because I'm waiting for something or someone." Emily's eyebrows knitted together in confusion and disbelief, "I'm not saying that it's true, but I am a ghost."
"No you're not, you're…solid." Emily said stupidly. At that, Logan turned white again like she had first seen him. "Oh,"
"Try to shake my hand now." he said in a bit of a whisper as if wind was blowing his words away as they come out of his silver lips. Emily tried to take his outstretched hand, but her hand slipped right through it; she gasped pulling her hand back as he turned solid again.
"How can you do that?" Emily asked in a timid voice.
"The changing thing? I'm not really sure. If I focus on being human, it just happens." he replied looking at his own hand in slight frustration.
"So, you can be human, and a ghost. That is really freaky, but sort of cool." Emily laughed holding his hand and looking at it carefully. "So you have been living up here? Why?"
"I've been living up here ever since my parents left. They moved away after I died and this place has been empty ever since because of me." Logan smiled mischievously.
"What, have you been scaring people off?" Emily asked smiling and thinking of the many stories consisting of ghosts scaring people off their property.
"Yeah, I'm pretty good at it." he smiled, "None of the people have come back."
"Why have you scared them off? And why do you not leave? You could have left with your parents."
"I don't want people living here because I live here, and I've never really thought of leaving. I could have left with my parents, but I didn't want to." Logan said casually, but with a hint of anger in his voice.
"Why didn't you?" Emily pushed. She was finding it easy to talk to Logan, much easier than Dee Dee or someone else.
"Because they did nothing." he raged standing up and pacing around the room. Emily followed him with her eyes and listened quietly. "They didn't help me at all when I was sick because they thought I would get better all because Joshua had gotten better! They just pampered him while I was upstairs coughing and vomiting and everything! Then when I died, I came back here and watched, invisible, as they cried over my body, then went out and bought Joshua a new toy. They didn't move right away, first they stayed and avoided my room, but were always in Joshua's and caring for Joshua and loving Joshua! It was all about Joshua." he stormed, but finally he came to a halt and collapsed on the floor. Emily remained silent, and watched him gather his thoughts until he was able to sit up. "Then, they finally decided to move, and they left my room as it had been when I had died, not even bothering to take a token to remember me by. The day that they left, I watched them downstairs as they gathered up the last things they needed, then they just left, and I have stayed here ever since."
"I'm sorry. You wanted them to say goodbye to you, but they never did." Emily said quietly.
"Yes," Logan replied in a whisper.
They were quiet for a few minutes, each thinking about their life. Emily could understand Logan perfectly well; she had always craved to be loved and wanted at school and had just come into that when Dee Dee had moved to the school. She had been like a lost and hungry dog who had seen Emily and followed her every move, but it hadn't always been like that. There had been a time when Emily had been all alone, without a friend or just about anyone, but Emily had finally gotten her wish, a best friend. Maybe that was what Logan needed, a friend to help him out.
"Well, I think you should go out." Emily said breaking the silence.
"Yes, get out of this house and look around. A lot has changed since 1968."
"I don't know. I don't think I would like it." he said tentatively.
"Of course you would. Come on, it's the 21st century!" Emily urged sitting on the edge of his bed and looking at him enthusiastically.
"It's the 21st century! Since when?" he asked leaping up.
"Um, since January 1, 2000," Emily said laughing.
"I've missed forty some odd years! The world definitely wouldn't be to my liking." he said looking at Emily like she was crazy.
"Oh come on, I could teach you." she offered.
"I don't know."
"Come on! I can teach you small things in here first. Then we can go to the big stuff." she said excitedly. This would be the perfect thing to fill the summer so she wouldn't be stuck at home watching I Love Lucy reruns.
"Maybe…but small things first, and you'd teach me here?" he asked.
"Sure!" Emily replied, she was already thinking of the first lesson and what she will show him: cell phones, computers, digital things. Then perhaps a TV!
"Ok I suppose, when?"
"Tomorrow, I could come around 12!"
"Alright…" he said still hesitantly, but with a little bit of excitement in his voice.
Logan showed Emily out, but didn't dare leave the house. With a last farewell and a promise to return, Emily left the house which had seemed so daunting at first, but was now not so intimidating, but sad. The minute Emily stepped out into the night air; she suddenly realized how late it was coming to be. With new energy, Emily quickly made her way down the hill and through the small town that lead to her house. What had first been a 20 minute walk to the house was now a difficult 7 minute run. When she had finally made her way to her house, it was nine forty.
"Where in the world have you been?" shrieked her mother's voice from the living room.
"Mother, what is my bed time?" Emily shouted back, angry that her mom couldn't understand what she had just been through, and all she cared about was what time it was.
"It's 10 o'clock, but that doesn't mean you are given the privilege of walking around outside until ten!" her mother replied angrily as Emily leaned against the doorway to the living room where her mom was sitting stiffly.
"Alright, I'm sorry." she sighed heavily rolling her eyes and turning around.
"No, you come right back in here and tell me where you were." her mother stood up crossing her arms and glared at Emily's back.
"I was out with Dee Dee." she replied praying that her mother hadn't called Dee Dee's mom.
"Doing what?" asked her mom.
"We were just walking around, but then we ran into some guys from school who kept talking to us and bothering us, so it was difficult to get away." Emily made up still turned away so as to hide her exasperated expression. Why did her mom have to ask her such stupid questions.
"Who were these boys?" her mom asked now interested.
"I don't know, some guys on the football team." Emily made up wildly.
"Well, did they hurt you?" asked her mother turning Emily around and looking at her closely. Emily put on the best face she could of indifference.
"No, they just tried to bother us. I'm fine, really." she ensured
"Well, why didn't you call? I could have picked you up."
"I was fine; Dee Dee and I lost the boys after a little while, and forgot them soon." Emily said casually.
"Well, alright, go on up to bed though. And don't let it happen again!" he mom said after looking her once more up and down to make sure she was alright.
Once in her room, Emily threw her bag in a corner and proceeded to prepare for bed, and then sat in her bed thinking. There was something about Logan that seemed so, real, so true and honest. That was what had caught Emily the moment she had seen him. That was, she supposed, the reason why she had gone into his room and listened to him. Did she believe his story? She wasn't sure. He seemed so sincere and truly sad when he had described what had happened to him, but she just didn't believe it. Or she didn't want to believe it. She didn't want to believe in something that wasn't hard fact, or didn't have any tangible evidence. But how else could his hand have been nothing but, mist?
After a few more minutes of thinking, Emily finally fell into a light sleep that consisted of dreams about a very young boy with brown curly hair wearing a suit and tie and walking through woods with many directions to take, but all looking mysterious. The boy looked up at Emily and said, "Can you help me find my way out." Emily's legs became weak when she saw his pleading eyes that were like those of a baby's. Emily tried desperately to tell him she would help him out of the forest, but her voice wouldn't work; she couldn't speak or even scream. Emily's eyes flew open and she sat bolt upright feeling a single tear fall down her cheek.
It was about 10:40 a.m. before she got up and dressed. Emily did not feel like going downstairs for breakfast, so she busied herself trying to think of what to show Logan on the first day. A cell phone was very important, then her iPod Touch, and maybe her portable DVD player.
At 11:25, Emily finally appeared from her room with a bulging bag and a hungry stomach.
"There you are; what have you been doing all cooped up in there?" asked a tall man with graying hair who was sitting at the table in their kitchen.
"I was asleep dad." she replied grabbing an apple and flopping down on the chair next to him.
"Sleeping huh? Well, your brothers are still asleep so I believe you." he joked looking at her over his newspaper.
"I'm going to go down to the village today ok?" Emily said getting up and making herself a ham sandwich.
"I just want to get out of the house, you know." she replied lathering some mayonnaise and mustard on a piece of bread.
"I see." he replied looking at her over his thick rimmed reading glasses.
"I just feel like walking around." she added, then taking her sandwich and dropping her apple into the already full bag, she left her house and made her way through the village and up the road that lead to Logan' s house. The pathway didn't seem as scary as it had the last night; it was much brighter and full of life than it had been.
"Logan!" she called after creeping around the holes in the wooden porch that she had put there, or had already been there. She looked around her and saw a web covered chandelier hanging dangerously above her head. Quickly she stepped aside and when she looked up the staircase, she saw Logan standing at the top of the stairs shimmering and smiling.
"Hey," she said also smiling
"Hey, how are you today?" he asked floating down the stairs, then reappearing solid.
"I'm great, you?" she asked walking over towards him
"Excellent!" he exclaimed, "Come on up." They ascended the stairs quietly and didn't speak until they had reached his room and made themselves comfortable on his bed.
"Alright, let's see." Emily said rummaging in her bag and pulling out her cell phone and her father's which she had snatched before she had left, iPod, and DVD player. "Well, this is called a cell phone," she said holding up her phone and opening it. She turned it on to find three messages from Dee Dee. Emily closes them and continues, "It's what we use to call each other."
"Call? As in yell?" Logan asked
"Oh, sorry, yeah, calling on a cell phone is like talking to someone who isn't near you. You use a cell phone anywhere at any time to make a call or text. Texting is where you write down your message and send it to that person without speaking to them. People use it when they don't want to talk to the other person, but need to convey a message."
"Oh, I know about phones, but I'm not used to little ones like these." Logan said hesitantly.
"I brought two so I could show you." Emily said presentation him with her father's phone. "Now, I'll just call that one," she said pointing to the one in his hand, "and you press the green button to answer." Emily called her phone, but when the phone in Logan's hand began to play her ringtone, he immediately dropped it and shot through the wall right beside him. Emily burst into laughter at the expression that had crossed Logan's face when he had first heard the noise. When Emily finally got over her hysteria, she saw Logan's head sticking out of the wall, eyes still huge.
"It's ok, that was just the ringtone. It's the noise the phone makes when you have a call coming." Logan slowly floated back into the room and dropped on the bed beginning to smile at his own mistake.
"It's not at all like the sound the phone's used to make when a call was coming." Logan said taking the phone again.
"What were they like then?"
"They were just a simple ring noise, not this sort of music or anything." He replied turning the cell phone over in his hands.
"Oh, well you'll get used to it. Let's try again." With that she pressed the send button and watched Logan start with surprise, but did as she had instructed and pressed the green button too.
"So I can just carry this little thing around anywhere and still here you? There aren't any cords or restrictions?"
"No, none, why don't you test it out?" Emily offered
"Alright, you stay here, I'll be back." Logan said, and with that he sank through the dusty floorboard. Emily continued speaking through the phone and continued to hear Logan exclaim in wonder and amazement, then he finally stuck his head through the floorboards and rose up.
"That's amazing." he cried again.
"That's just a cell phone, wait until I show you TVs and computers."
"I know what a TV is."
"Yes, but you haven't seen modern TVs." Emily laughed thinking about the small TV that he would be thinking of, compared to the enormous ones that were popular. "Now, this is an iPod. It's a music devise that keeps a ton of songs on it. Mine is a special iPod Touch, so it's a touch screen and plays movies and games." At that Emily knew she had lost him by the blank expression on his face, so she thought she'd just show him.
Things went on in that way for the next two hours. Emily would present something to Logan, who would marvel at it, but would take a while to understand the basic idea of the object. They spent a full hour and a half on the iPod Touch since it did so much. It took some time to convince Logan that it could hold so many songs, then to show him the apps that were on it. Then after he had finally learned how to use the iPod Touch, she presented the DVD player to him like a mother handing her child a Christmas present.
"So, they have made movies and sealed them onto these…discs?" Logan asked for the fifth time.
"Yeah" Emily replied taking the DVD from Logan's pale fingers and placing it in the slot.
"Then I can use this…remote to do what?" he asked weighing the little box in his hand.
"You can use the remote to fast forward, rewind, and everything else." she laughed taking the remote from his hand and showing him how it can be used to skip parts of the movie and so on. Logan watched Emily in awe as she maneuvered the devices so perfectly at ease. He tried to follow what she was talking about and learn it, but he soon found his head so muddled and full of confusion that he couldn't remember everything she had said.
"So do you think you understood this so far?" Emily asked putting the remote down.
"Uh, yeah I think so…" Logan replied massaging his head.
"A little too much?" She asked sympathetically.
"Just a bit" he said sheepishly.
"That's fine, you've still got years to learn about these things." Emily said
"Hm, that reminds me. We need to go shopping for you."
"Because of your clothes; no offense, but they don't exactly fit in with the current times, unless you only go out on Halloween." Emily laughed looking Logan up and down. He too turned to the dusty mirror that stood in a corner of his room and examined himself.
"So what is the current style for fifteen year old boys?" he asked Emily still studying his reflection.
"Here, I brought a magazine, look through it and see." She replied handing him a Teen Vogue magazine from her bag.
"This is what people wear?" he asked in surprise showing a picture of Lady Gaga to Emily.
"Ha ha ha, no that's just Lady Gaga's style. This is more of what people wear." Emily laughed turning the page to show some more normal clothes.
The next day Emily sneaked into her brother's room and stole a pair of his loose jeans and a T-shirt. The T-shirt was perfectly fine with Logan, but he didn't like the jeans.
"They're too baggy and loose." he had complained when he came out of the bathroom wearing the jeans.
"That's the style, but I guess I can get you some regular jeans." Emily smiled.
The next few weeks, Emily spent the majority of her time at Logan's teaching him things, and attempting to help him fit in with the time period. He was a relatively quick learner, and soon was able to operate an iPod, cell phone, and many other mechanisms with extreme ease.
"I think you're ready."
"Ready? No, no I'm not!" Logan exclaimed
"Yes you are! Come on, you know how to operate all of these machines, and you look like an average teenager. You'll fit right in!" she replied
"I'm just not sure."
"It's fine, I'll be with you and it's really not all that bad."
"I suppose, alright let's get this over with." Logan decided standing up with a determined expression on his face.
They descended the stairs and edged their way around the hole on the porch, then paused at the top of the winding driveway. Emily studied his face, searching for any anxiety on his complexion, but was surprised not to find any. After a few moments, Logan set out down the driveway at a fast pace so that Emily had to quicken her steps to keep up.
The two of them quickly reached the bottom of the hill, then turned to the right towards the little village. They continued in silence, Emily watching Logan look everywhere at the new things that were suddenly taking up his old world.
"What's that?" Logan asked after a few minutes pointing to the arcade that rested between two stores.
"It's the arcade, it's a place where kids can go and play these virtual games, similar to the ones on my iPod." Emily explained trying to compare it to something he already knew about. They watched quietly as a couple of kids walked into the arcade jingling quarters in their bulging pockets. Then a few kids came out, one little girl was holding a stuffed unicorn she must have won, and two boys were looking bleary eyed and had slightly vacant expressions on their faces. Logan and Emily strode down the sidewalk passing the park, and the elementary school, then finally pausing at the library.
"This is the library?" Logan asked quietly
"Yes," Emily replied
"It hasn't changed much." He replied studying it quietly, "Everything around here has changed so much, but the library is still the same. It's like the entire town has changed around it."
"Hm, well I guess that's good, you like books." Emily said looking at the library.
"Why am I here?" Logan asked turning back to Emily.
"I don't know. Perhaps it's something to do with your family." Emily suggested glancing at the plaque that hangs on the library's brick walls.
"No, it can't be." Logan replied following Emily's gaze, but then turned away quickly and strode over to a bench under a beautiful oak tree.
"Maybe it does have something to do with you waiting for something! Maybe you're waiting for your parents to say goodbye." Emily attempted following him to a bench where they sat. Logan looked around at the green leaves swaying lazily in the breeze.
"I don't think I'm waiting for them to say goodbye. I think I'm just waiting for them." He replied turning his deep blue eyes towards her. Emily looked at him for a minute, but turned her head away. She didn't know what's wrong with her, but there's something. Logan is a great guy, but their relationship was odd. He's dead.
"Well, I doubt that they're going to return here." Emily said honestly.
"No, they definitely would not." He said looking around at the busy streets full of noisy cars. They sat like this for a while, just looking and thinking. Emily looked down the sidewalk to receive a shock. Mark and his big blubbery friends were walking towards them.
"Hey look, it's the coward!" one of the boys called to his friends. Mark looked up and grinned when he spotted Emily.
"Hey chicken, why didn't you meet us the other day like you said you would huh? Get too scared to go into the big house?" Mark said reaching Emily and Logan.
"No, I just didn't think it was worth my time to go meet you and…them." Emily replied standing up to look Mark in the face.
"Really, because I think there's a word for someone like that."
"Yeah what is it?" asked one of his followers smiling.
"I do believe you call them, losers!" Mark laughed receiving backup from his disciples. Emily smiled mockingly.
"Oh, that's really the best you can do? Well, you're incompetent and atrocious, and obviously you are the result of a degradation of your gene pool." Emily said getting right in Mark's face. There was silence for a few moments before Logan cracked up laughing. Mark glared at him.
"Who is this loser?" he asked nodding at Logan.
"He's my friend. Got a problem with that?"
"As long as he's your friend not mine." Mark said looking at his friends for support, and wasn't disappointed.
"Whatever" Emily said elbowing Mark in the ribs and pulling Logan away from the laughing thugs.
"Wow, you really showed them!" Logan praised looking at Emily with a glint of approval in his eyes.
"No I didn't. I just gave them more reason to laugh at me." Emily fumed
"Well, ignore them. That Mark guy is just trying to show off." He said
"Yeah, to his stupid followers."
"No, actually not to them" Logan said looking away from Emily
"You" Logan replied simply.
"Ha ha what do you mean?" Emily snorted
"Come on, it's kind of obvious."
"Well if it is, I'm not getting it." Emily said looking at Logan questioningly, but he didn't respond, "Tell me!"
"He likes you" Logan finally said almost reluctantly
"Ha! Yeah right" Emily laughed
"He does" he said frowning
"No he doesn't. He's just being a jerk." Emily replied leading Logan over to a small park.
"Ok, believe what you want." Logan said sitting down on a swing. Emily thought for a few minutes, but shook the idea out of her head like it was water on a dog's hair. It wasn't possible that Mark liked her.
"Oh crap! I have to go soon!" Emily said jumping up and looking at her watch.
"I should probably go home too." Logan replied standing up still frowning as if trying to untangle his thoughts. "See you tomorrow?"
"Yeah sure, what time?"
"Oh well I have a pretty busy schedule you know; I guess I could squeeze you in around noon." Logan grinned pretending to check a PDF
"I'll come around noon then" Emily replied looking at Logan, then rushed off towards her home. He watched her leave, then turned slowly and meandered to the dilapidated old Lister house. Once inside he turned back into his ghost form only to find someone else was also in his house.
"Logan!" the figure exclaimed when he saw Logan.
"…Joshua?!" Logan practically shouted.
"Yeah it's me!" Joshua Lister replied slowly approaching Logan.
"What are you doing here? How…"
"That's a long story meant for another time. But I've been told to inform you of something." Joshua said gesturing for Logan to take a seat on the rickety old staircase. "I'm here to tell you the reason why you've been trapped here on earth."
"You're kidding" Logan said looking at his younger brother with suspicion written all over his face.
"You've been here because you have been waiting." Joshua continued. "Every soul who has died is waiting for someone else. For you it was our parents."
"Wait, what do you mean it was?"
"Your mind has changed. Your priority was our parents because they were who you loved most at the time that you died, but since then you've met someone else." Joshua explained. By the sound of it he'd been given a speech that he had to complete. "Now, the person you are waiting for is not allowed to see you. When our parents left and you were still here, they weren't allowed to see you because they were who you were waiting for."
"Josh, this isn't making any sense!" Logan exclaimed
"No I suppose not. Look I died, and I'm waiting for mom and dad to die so that we can be a family again. That's who you were waiting for too until recently when you changed your mind. Now you are waiting for Emily." Josh paused to let this information sink in.
"So, I have to stay on Earth until Emily dies?" Logan asked appalled. Joshua nodded solemnly. "And I can't see her?"
"No you can see her, but she won't be able to see you." Joshua replied. Logan bobbed his head slightly showing Josh that he had understood the message. With that, Josh slowly began to fade. "I have to go, see you when you're ready." Josh's voice whispered as his form slowly vanished leaving Logan sitting on the stairs dumbfounded.
The next day, Emily got up and prepared to visit Logan as usual, but when she arrived at the old house, she didn't find him. She looked everywhere she could think that he would have gone, but found only a piece of paper on Logan's bed that read:
I'll see you when the day comes.
Emily read this, confused and upset, rereading it and putting emphasis on different words to see if it would make any more sense. Finally giving up, Emily flung the piece of paper away from herself and ran back home.
The next day, Emily returned to the house hoping to find Logan floating there upon the stairs with a logical explanation as to his absence yesterday, but was disappointed. She picked up the card and looked at it longingly, and tucked it into her pocket to treasure it until her 'day came'.
Emily Foster was woken from her reverie by the dull tone of a bell and noticed all of the children nearby beginning to get up and head towards the doors. Emily studied the beautiful sunset in the distance as she waited patiently until a nurse strolled over to her and pushed her towards the truck. She had been sitting in a little patio outside of a school watching as a small class of seventh graders walk around and study the greenery. Emily's eyes began to droop while she was lifted up into the car where another nurse was waiting to strap her wheelchair in safely. She smiled her usual smile that was not, and never had been, reflected in her eyes.
She asked in her falsely sweet voice, "Are you ready to go home Ms. Foster?"
"No Anna, I want to visit the graveyard for a moment." Emily replied also in a faux sweet voice.
"Okay!" Anna smiled, but Emily saw her jaw clench and eyes darken. They drove slowly away from the school and eventually can to a long and twisted pathway. They drove down the path making quick turns and jerks, eventually turning into a bed of grass that served as the parking lot just outside of the graveyard entrance. Anna helped Emily out of the car and rolled her down the path slowly.
"Stop here please." Emily said making Anna stop at a certain tombstone. She shooed Anna away, then gazed at the small tombstone that stood before her, aged, rustic, and covered in overgrown greenery. Emily leaned over slightly and pushed some of the weeds away with a shaking hand to reveal the name that was carved into the stone. The letters had been worn and were now rough around the edges, but she could still make out the words:
Born January 31, 1953
Died March 29, 1968
Emily felt a warm tear roll down her now wrinkled cheek and blinked it away. She looked over at Anna who was standing a few feet away smoking and sitting disrespectfully on some poor man's grave. Anna was plugged into the internet through her ear chip, and was currently talking to some friend of hers through Facenovel.
Emily turned back to Logan's grave and whispered, "I'm ready. My day has come." She turned her eyes away from the sun and saw a glistening figure striding towards her smiling. As the figure came closer, Emily realized that she could feel her legs and feet, so she stood up and stretched like a cat waking from a long nap. "I'm sorry I made you wait so long." She said taking Logan's arm. "It was no problem" he replied as they strode off towards the sunset arm in arm.